Albuquerque settles public records lawsuit with local news station

GavelA lawsuit settled on Wednesday between the City of Albuquerque, New Mexico and local news station KRQE is a victory for transparency in government. It also highlights the role of media in keeping citizens informed. [Read more…]

Some people want Florida Governor to cover the costs of records case

DollarsAttorney Steven Andrews found himself in a legal scuffle with the governor’s office in 2012. Andrews was based out of a large home, renovated into office space, and located near the governor’s mansion. The governor’s office was looking for new space to work out of, and elected to purchase the building Andrews was based out of. Andrews contested the purchase, citing his still-current lease for his office space. [Read more…]

Albuquerque citizen uses public records to keep police accountable

Info RequestIt’s no secret that the so-called Sunshine Laws, laws regarding which documents created and handled by our government agencies become public record, are extremely important. They help to maintain a level of transparency between elected officials and other government employees and the average citizen. Under most state laws, most documents created, used, or stored by these parties can actually be requested by just about anyone that is interested in them. The governmental body then has a predetermined amount of time to prepare and hand those documents over. [Read more…]

Texas introduces body camera legislation and access exceptions

PoliceDebate over the necessity of police-worn body cameras across the United States has raged for several years now. The practice has become increasingly common among local police departments now, especially compared with a couple years ago when just a couple of departments pioneered pilot programs to see if they truly made a difference in officer and civilian behavior, complaints against the department, and more. Overwhelmingly, the results have been positive, with reports of officer use of force down double digit percentages and higher satisfaction with the department amongst citizens in their jurisdictions. [Read more…]

Texas considers out of state public records request ban

DeniedLast month, the Texas state legislature announced that it was considering a move that would give government agencies and other public bodies the legal right to ignore Freedom of Information Act, or public records, requests if they came from outside the state.  The restriction would apply to both businesses not based in Texas, as well as members of the public who simply weren’t citizens of the state. [Read more…]